- (Photo: REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)
Pope Francis released his papacy's official platform Tuesday while calling out global leaders for their unconvincing efforts in combating income inequality and rampant poverty.
The Pope's attitude towards uncompromising capitalism was described as "a new tyranny" which deadened individuals when the needs of the less fortunate are so great.
The remarks were gathered in an 84-page document known as an apostolic exhortation, which is the first such document to be released by the Vatican under this pope.
In furthering with his advocacy for direct action on specific, policy-level issues, Pope Francis mentioned specific occurrences in present-day societies that are seen as a symptom of societal degradation.
"Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a 'disposable' culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society's underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the 'exploited' but the outcast, the 'leftovers,'" he said.
In what is seen as a break from tradition, Pope Francis addressed specific economic policy, known as "trickle-down economics," while criticizing those who would suggest that it has the ability to provide greater wealth to more people.
"In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting," Pope Francis added.
The Pope also blasted the desire of the mass accumulation of wealth, warning that such a focus kills the passion we have for those less fortunate.
"To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed," he continued. "Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us."